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    #1

    don't disagree

    Wouldn't it be considered as the double negative in the sentence like "I don't disagree"?

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    #2

    Re: don't disagree

    Certainly. It means 'I agree'.

    We use this when we have some reservations about our agreement and go on to specify them.

    For instance:

    A: 'Tibet is a beautiful country.'

    B: 'I don't disagree, but not everybody loves mountains.'

    Rover

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    #3

    Lightbulb Double negative

    *** NOT A TEACHER ***


    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Wouldn't it be considered as the double negative in the sentence like "I don't disagree"?
    In my humble opinion, it's not that simple. Technically, yes, it is a double negative, but double negatives like this don't necessarily resolve to a positive. For example, if one says you're not impolite, it doesn't necessarily convey that you've always acted very politely; maybe you were just "neutral". "I don't disagree" can mean that I haven't come to a conclusion yet; I am undecided. With that said, I respectfully disagree that "I don't disagree" (necessarily) means "I agree"; however I agree to disagree.


    On a side-note, just because I didn't tell you not to hit me, it doesn't mean I told you to hit me. (So please don't hit me! ) On the other hand, consider this, "there's no way for us not to obey the forum guidelines"; this IS a double negative that resolves in a positive. (That is, we MUST obey the guidelines.)

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    #4

    Re: Double negative

    I agree that is unlikely to be simply a positive; it's not the same as I agree. The person could be saying that they will not object, or will accept the other position, but they are not endorsing it in the way that I agree does.

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    #5

    Re: don't disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Wouldn't it be considered as the double negative in the sentence like "I don't disagree"?

    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Ostap,


    (1) As the other posters have said: Yes, it is a double negative.

    (2) But it is a GOOD double negative.

    (3) Grammar books call this kind of device (use of the language)

    a LITOTES.

    (4) Native speakers occasionally use litotes in order to give a

    certain flavor to the language. The more you learn English, the

    more you will understand when and how to use litotes.

    (5) Maybe the most famous litotes is "not bad."

    (a) Some books say that "Not bad" = good.

    (b) But as Mr. William Safire points out in his On Language

    (New York City: Times Books, 1980):

    Sometimes it means between "good" and "bad":

    Mother: How do you like my chocolate cake?

    Husband: Wonderful.

    Rude son: Horrible.

    Kindly daughter: Not bad!

    (That was only my dialogue. Not Mr. Safire's.)

    (6) I found a wonderful explanation in Webster's Online Dictionary

    (definition of "double negative"):

    I do not disagree:

    (1) I certainly agree.

    or

    (2) You may be right, although I am not sure.

    Mr. Jones is not incompetent:

    (1) He is very competent.

    or

    (2) He is very competent but not brilliantly so [competent].

    *****

    Thank you for this interesting question. I learned a lot while

    trying to answer it.

    Happy New Year

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